Thursday, July 31, 2008

Check me out!

I got a makeover!!!!!! Isn't my blog gorgeous!!??? I love it!

A special (and talented) lady named Danielle did this for me. If you are interested in a blog makeover, you can find her at:

It just feels so nice to be made over!!! Kinda refreshing!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Scaredy cat, I mean, dog!

This is a first...Maxie is terrified of thunderstorms. Today, we had thunderstorms in Brussels. Now, I have to say, it was not bad at all...really, not at all. We get a LOT of rain in Brussels, but I have not seen too many thunderstorms with thunder and lightning. Today, I noticed it was getting dark outside (at 11AM!!) and knew a storm was brewing. I was a little excited, as I like to be lazy on rainy weekends so I was getting ready to settle in under a blanket and watch a movie.

Well, all of a sudden, Maxie runs and jumps in my lap trembling and panting like crazy. I am talking 'tail between the legs, trembling and tongue out panting' scared! She kept looking outside so I knew exactly what was wrong with her. She would jump as it thundered outside. She even pooped in the living room. It was terrible.

My favorite website is! So yes, I googled 'dogs afraid of storms' and found out that the worst thing to do is cuddle and pet on the scared pooch. It reinforces the behavior and tells the dog it is ok to tremble. The site told me to make sure the dog has a safe place to go when she is frightened and continue to act normal, like nothing is wrong. Well, I failed that parenting class today because all I did was pick her up and cuddle and pet on her and told her it was ok. That is what all parents do when their child is scared, right? You all know I treat Maxie like she is a 'human child', so don't be surprised!!

I am TERRIFIED of severe thunderstorms...seriously, TERRIFIED. Now, as long as it is just rain and no tornadoes, I am fine. But, when there is severe weather in the area, I am a scaredy cat! Luckily, we do not deal with severe thunderstorms in Brussels at all, so I have not had to worry about it. However, back in Memphis, that is not the case and I am worried about how Maxie will act when we move home. I do not remember her being scared before we moved, so this behavior is something new.

So, advice to I help my terrified pooch?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stansted, England

I am currently in Stansted, England for work! Now, I have to tell you the weather is nice and in the 70s, so I am enjoying looking (ok well, daydreaming) out the window of the office and not wanting to be here.

There is really not much to report from Stansted. I am working and we are staying by the office, which is located by the Stansted there is absolutely nothing to do here but work. The hotel is nice. I even went to the gym this morning (trying to work off some of the Belgian pounds that have crept up on me)! The hotel has a really nice spa so I plan on getting a pedicure at some point during my stay.

We arrived on Tuesday (since Monday was a Belgium holiday) and will be here through August 8th; however, I am going home on the weekends (did I mention there was NOTHING to do in Stansted??!!!).

I have to think of something more to give me a little bit and I will be back!

Monday, July 21, 2008


I am writing this so next year when I am home melting because it is so hot outside, I will remember why I miss Belgium.

Weather: Currently, 55 degrees and raining on July 21, 2008!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Farmer's Market

I have mentioned in previous posts about my love of my neighborhood farmer's market; however, I really do not think I have posted many pictures.

I discovered the market on the day I moved into my apartment and blogged a little bit about it here and here. I kept noticing people walking by my window with flowers, fruits, bags of veggies, etc. I wondered what was going on and where I could get some of those beautiful flowers! I glanced out the window and saw the market! I could not believe it. I had always heard of Europe's farmers markets but had not been to one...then to find one right at the end of my street....oh, I was excited!

The market is held every Saturday and Sunday (rain or shine) from around 8AM (which I never make to that early) until around 1PM. I try to get down there most weekends and try to meet up with the "waffle guy" and have myself a waffle for breakfast! Then, I head over to the "chicken guy" (who I have posted recently about), then over to the "fruit guy", then to the "veggie guy"!

You can buy all kinds of fresh fish, fresh Italian pastas and sauces, pastries, pies and tarts (I brought one to a dinner I went to last weekend and THEY LOVED IT), uncooked chickens and other meats, wines, bread, deli meats, etc...just to name a few. There are so many things that I have never seen nor heard of.

I have found you can find most anything at the farmer's market. From my understanding, most people do all of their shopping at these type markets and you can find just about anything. These are the most unusual items...

Earrings anyone?
How about a nighty...
Maybe some tights or pantyhose...
Yes, even a mattress!
Here are some of the most common (and normal) specialities:

Olives...and more olives...with all kinds of stuff in them. All types of fruit! And cheese...
The flowers are my favorite. I took some outside flower containers last year to my "flower guy" and they filled them with beautiful flowers! So easy! They also have gorgeous bouquets that are very inexpensive! I LOVE the flowers!!! When you buy them, they wrap up up so pretty it just makes you want to give them as a gift!!
After visiting all of my "guys" on my latest trip to the market, I brought home these yummy strawberries, blueberries, green beans, Spéculoos, and of course, a piece of that yummy chicken! Oh the waffles...YUM!
I know I will miss the farmer's market when I return to the States, but until then, I will be visiting my "guys" and loving every minute of it!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thanks, Daddy!

If you have ever been to my parent's house, you will notice just how pristine their yard is....thanks to my Daddy! He is all about having a beautiful yard and make sure his kids do as well!

While my family was here, I knew Daddy was going to do some yard work (whether it needed it or not). The back of my yard (garden, as they call it over here) did need some improvement that I have not had the chance to do nor really wanted to do. Well, Daddy decided to take care of it for me!

Here are some pics! (I do not have any before pictures frankly because I was too embarrassed at just how bad it looked!)

Maxie enjoying her beautiful garden!
This is the part of the garden which needed some much needed attention! It looks so much better now! We even discovered I had some type of beautiful flowers. At first, I thought it was hydrangeas, but I really do not think so now.
Maxie wanted to show off this new discovery!
I later decided to cut some of the beautiful flowers and enjoy them inside!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

How Much is that Doggie in the Window...Woof Woof!

This is how Maxie welcomes me home everyday! Isn't she the cutest?!?!?! Can you imagine what all she sees by hanging out in the window all day? I bet she knows all the gossip in the neighborhood!! What a rough life!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Trip of a Lifetime! (Part 4)

After seeing England, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands (ok, we only drove through the Netherlands), we had to complete the hand and hit 5 we headed off to Germany!

We decided on Cologne, Germany and to take the train. Truth be told....Daddy was scared to death of the drivers in Belgium (me too!!) and combined with my driving....well, that made him really nervous! We were all happy they wanted to take the matter how much it cost!

We knew it was going to be a hot day in Germany, but really did not realize just how hot. When we arrived, I thought I was going to die! It was in the high 90s, probably between 95-98. It was so hot! I am not used to temperatures like that anymore and quite frankly, I do not miss Memphis summers.

It was lunchtime by the time we got to Cologne, so we stopped to grab a bite. We ate at this cutest little sidewalk restaurant. The longer we sat there we realized we wanted dessert, mainly because it was just so dang HOT and we did not want to move!
Yummmmy strawberries!
Finally, we decided to get out of the shade and see some of the city. I was there in December for the Christmas Markets, but seeing it in the summer was really different! We decided to take a little cute train around the city....ok, did I mention how hot it was! Seriously thought I was going to die! Anyway, this little train took us all around and we got to see what Cologne was all about. Mom and Daddy also got to eat a traditional German brat (I am not really sure they liked it!)!
Yep, Maxie joined us! She did not like the heat either!
Before we decided headed out, we stopped by the beautiful Cologne Cathedral!

Germany was the last stop on my family's Trip of a Lifetime European tour! Telling them bye at the airport was terrible and so sad. I miss them more than I can write!

I love you Daddy, Mom, and Angie!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Trip of a Lifetime! (Part 3)

We returned to Brussels after an incredible time in London and Paris! We were exhausted, so we used the next couple of days to just "be" and it was nice! But, there was still Brussels to we could not sit for too long before we were off again!

We hit the main spots in Brussels....the Grand Place,, the infamous, Manneken Pis, and of course...a Belgian waffle! I also took my parents out to where Napoleon's battlefield of Waterloo in Waterloo, Belgium and the Butte du Lion (or Lion's Mound)!

And, of course, the pics...

The Grand Place... Manneken Pis...The Battlefield and Lion's Mound in Waterloo...
And, we cannot forget about Maxie who was not pleased she could not have even a bite!

We also got to spend some time with Zsa Zsa since Dan was traveling! (Zsa Zsa on the left, Maxie on the right)But, when Dan returned, he took Daddy for a ride in Pam's SMART car! Daddy LOVED the SMART cars over here and is seriously thinking about buying one since gas prices are so outrageous right now! I will keep you posted if he does buy cool would that be! He may be the most popular man in Southaven, MS!!!
Oh, and get this.....I have been craving Mom's turkey and dressing and chocolate pie! You would think it was Thanksgiving or Christmas??!! Anyway, she made it for me! YUM!
Up next....Cologne, Germany (minus Angie who left going back to the States on Sunday!)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Trip of a Lifetime! (Part 2)

My very first trip to Paris was back in March 2004 and I was there for 4 weeks for work. I took many (MANY) pictures, but I sent this picture (below) back home. I just thought it was a great shot of the Place de la Concorde fountain and the Eiffel Tower in the background. When I talked to my parents later that night, Mom told me Daddy had pulled out a postcard that my grandfather had sent home from Paris when he was stationed in France during World War II. The postcard was of this exact shot. Cool, uh?!! I am not sure exactly how long my grandfather spent in France during WWII, but it was long enough to meet, date, and almost marry a French lady. Not sure why they broke up (maybe something to do with distance). Anyway, he spoke a lot about his time in France and I believe that was the main reason my Daddy wanted to visit Paris.

It was funny to see my family's reaction to all things French when we arrived in Paris. One nice aspect about London is the language (English); however, in Paris, things are a little different!! It was time to pull out the French (the little that I have anyway)!

So, here we Paris, France! We were exhausted (due to lack of sleep, tired from walking all over London, etc). On our first full day, we made it over to Notre Dame and stopped for a little breakfast at a sidewalk cafe. Angie opted for no breakfast food and went right on to lunch and ordered poulet and pomme frites (chicken and fries)! There is an inside joke between us and she had been talking about having poulet and pomme frites in Paris for months! Also, Angie is a lover of ice.....and well, in Europe, ice does not come freely. You may (and I mean MAY) get 1 cube of ice, if you are lucky, and have asked for it in advance. While at this cafe, we asked for ice...and they brought her a bucket! We all laughed really hard! It was a great way to start the day! After brunch, we decided another bus tour sounded great! (Can you tell we were tired and wanted someone to drive us around to the sites!!??) It turned out to be the best decision we made the entire trip! I have never been a fan of bus tours...always thought they were too touristy...well, sometimes, it is just smart and worth every penny!

We hit all things Parisian....Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde, the river Seine, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Invalides, Statues of Liberty, Opéra Garnier, Notre Dame de Paris, Musée d'Orsay, just to name a few!

Here are some pics!

Arc de TriompheDaddy's first view of the Eiffel Tower...
Being silly...
Statue of Liberty!! Confused? Yes, this is a replica of the one France gave the United States to mark the Centennial of the American Declaration of Independence.
As a must do when visiting Paris, is to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower! So, of course, we did it! As I mentioned in the London posting, Mom and Angie are deathly afraid of heights. Mom has been to the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower on a previous trip, so she opted to sit this one out. So Daddy, Angie, and I jumped in line (and a LONG line it was) and headed up!

In the elevator. Angie was hiding somewhere and not looking out!
We made it!
Views from the top! Arc de Triomphe in the background.
Love how the streets form a "V"...
Place du Trocadero

As I mentioned before, my family LOVES when this close to the European version....I had to take them to check it out! (Disneyland Resort Paris)

Right before this picture was taken, I dropped my camera (seriously, it was not a hard fall). It stopped working and I about freaked out. It managed (thank you God) to work on and off throughout the rest of the day so we were able to capture most shots of the day. We bought a disposable camera and used it as a back up. If you know me well, you know my LOVE of photography and pictures...and my camera dying in the middle of a Trip of a Lifetime, was NOT a good thing.
Space Mountain, our favorite ride at Disneyworld. However, Euro Disney (or I think it has been renamed to Disneyland Paris) has come up with a newer version....Space Mountain, Mission 2! And it is awesome!
Angie and I about to get on!
Classic favorite...It's a Small World!
My favorite shots of the day.....Cinderella's Castle...
And Daddy checking out the parade...check out that grin!

Up next, The Glover's in Brussels, Belgium!